Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Topic: traverse
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

'Tourist Train' Could Be Just a Few Years Away

For $1.7 million, a tourist train could once again chuff back and forth from Traverse City to Williamsburg.

Features Patrick Sullivan LOTS OF WORK AHEAD The 11-mile stretch of track in question is seldom used and is barely in good enough condition to carry freight. The tracks are maintained at the lowest standard allowed by the Federal Railroad Administration and trains are forbidden to carry passengers or travel more than 10 miles per hour.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Open Carry

Our confusing gun laws, weapons in schools, and “packing” at Burger King

Features Anne Stanton Shoppers might stare, wondering, “Is he ready to open fire or just making a gun rights statement? Am I safe? Should I run?” In this hypothetical case, the man might have bought the semi-automatic rifle from a neighbor with no background check or borrowed it from a friend.
Monday, July 7, 2014

Cherries On Paper

New Cherry Fest Book Is All Fun

Features Pamela Garth Just in time for Cherry Festival 2014 comes The National Cherry Festival in Traverse City: Blessing of the Blossoms, by Brooks Vanderbush. This book’s subject matter and bright cover are bound to attract the attention of locals and visitors to the Grand Traverse region.
Monday, July 7, 2014

They've Got the Beat

Music Kristi Kates They’re not exactly professionals from Brazil, but Traverse City’s Deep Blue Water Samba School is making waves here, creating a swell of interest in South American inspired beats.
Monday, July 28, 2014

A Traverse City Film Festival Oral History


Features Patrick Sullivan After the success of that first TCFF in 2005, organizers decided to try for a second act. And — critical for downtown Traverse City — they set their sights on taking over the State Theatre, a classic American movie house that had fallen on hard times..
Monday, July 28, 2014

The Musical Side of TCFF

Believe it or not, someone once had to beg musicians to perform at the Traverse City Film Festival.

Music Kristi Kates Argentinian pop singer Milagros is returning, as well as some new groups, he said “We have the minimalistic music of Canadian performer Frank Paul, the neobluegrass of Fauxgrass, and an exciting collaboration of local legends Al Jankowski and David Chown,” said Sullivan.
Monday, July 28, 2014

Dates 07-28-14

Dates Jamie Kauffold Maureen Abood will be giving a lecture on “A Taste of the Lebanese Table.” She cooks, writes, and photographs her award-winning food blog, “Rose Water & Orange Blossoms”, in Harbor Springs.
Monday, August 4, 2014

Letters 08-04-2014

Letters What Will You Tell Your Children?

What will you tell your children about climate change? Will you tell them how the increase of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere caused more severe storms, the melting of Arctic sea ice and the Antarctic ice shield, and the warming and rising of our oceans? Will you tell them how this caused water and food shortages around the world?

Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage

I’ve noticed that over the last couple of years letters printed in the Northern Express concerning Israel have all been critical of Israel with no blame assigned to the Palestinians. With this current offensive against Hamas, no doubt there will be plenty more criticism of Israel...

Taxing Retirees

How remarkable to see letters from rational folks instead of the usual loony rants about the Koch brothers, Citizens United, corporate evils in general, global warming, fracking, and how by some twisted logic, women’s rights to purchase and use birth control are infringed unless her selection is fully paid for by a third party...

Symphony Masterpiece

I’m writing to draw attention to a recent presentation of professional classical music outdoors. The audience experienced a new sort of sound and light show Saturday, July 19, when the Traverse Symphony Orchestra presented its first ever concert on the lawn of the Grand Traverse Commons...

Revisiting The Wethouse

The Christie Minervini column on “wethouses” was insightful and I hope received positively by the community. Our drug and alcohol policies are built on failure and powerlessness. We try to live up to some undefined moral code, and pay no attention to “reducing the harm” we all face from alcoholism and addiction. A priest or minister won’t solve this problem but maybe, God willing, an engineer can!

Monday, August 4, 2014

TC Dance Project is Back

After a one-year hiatus, the Traverse City Dance Project is back.

Features Ross Boissoneau Artistic directors Jennifer McQuiston Lott and Brent Whitney, a Traverse City native, are bringing together professional dancers, apprentices, choreographers, and musicians for two shows at the City Opera House.